As a shopkeeper in the Reading Terminal Market, any busy day is a good day. But after 25 years at the Pennsylvania General Store, my favorite is the day before Thanksgiving. The energy inside this more-than-a-century-old public market is unlike any other time of year. Thanksgiving is about bringing together the people we love, to share a meal and to give thanks; as a merchant, it’s a privilege to be even a small part of this occasion.
That Wednesday morning, customers wait outside for the Market to open, making shopping strategies while sipping coffee provided by Market management. While it’s a busy day for us at the General Store, there’s a lot more pressure on the big three: the butcher, baker and greengrocer. Inside the market, the greengrocers hurriedly stack towering mounds of collard greens, the butchers ice down freshly-killed turkeys and the Pennsylvania Dutch bakers try to find room to display all their pies.